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  • Writer's pictureNathalia Fisher

Houston - We got a Plastic problem!

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

A Sea of Unnecessary Plastic.

The story of The Coastline Runner attending the "Ocean Plastics" Conference in Houston highlights the issue of plastic pollution and the power of individual action in bringing about positive change. Upon arriving at the conference venue for the 20th of June, the Coastline Runner was struck by the excessive use of single-use plastics, which seemed painfully ironic given the event's purpose. Despite initial resistance from the organizers, he persisted in addressing the problem and conversed with them.

Day 1 at the Ocean Plastics Conference. A room filled with single-use plastic bottles

As a panellist at the conference, The Coastline Runner's passionate expression of disappointment resonated with the audience, leading to a swift response from the organizers. They announced that starting the next day, they would eliminate plastic cups and bottles, opting for reusable water flasks and glasses instead. This demonstrated the impact of one individual's determination and the willingness of corporations to change when confronted with the need for change.

The Three 'A's Strategy: Making a Difference

The Coastline Runner's success can be attributed to his implementation of the three 'A's strategy: Ask, show the Alternative and Act with the alternative. Firstly, he asked questions and made the issue of excessive plastic waste known to the organizers. Secondly, he showed better options by presenting the benefits of using reusable water jugs and glasses. Finally, he took action by leveraging his influence to advocate for change, resulting in the switch from single-use plastic to reusable alternatives.

The Coastline Runner with the event organizers

Inspiring Change

The impact of this change extended beyond the conference itself, inspiring attendees to reconsider their plastic consumption habits and advocate for change in their respective industries. The reduction of unnecessary plastic waste at the conference set a precedent for future events and showcased the benefits of making better choices.

Furthermore, The Coastline Runner recognized the environmental impact of his flight and is researching ways to offset the plastic consumption associated with it. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the average carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions for a return London-Houston economy flight is approximately 2.68 tonnes per passenger. He will investigate this and report back.

One route might be to offset the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions resulting from his flight by reducing the consumption of plastic water bottles. The exact number of bottles required to offset the emissions will depend on their size and weight, and further investigation is underway. But the number of plastic water bottles that correspond to 2.68 tonnes of CO2e can vary depending on the size and weight of the bottles, so maybe that is a complicated way.

Day 2 at the Ocean Plastic Conference. Single-use plastics water bottles were replaced by water jugs and glasses.

A Wave of Positive Change

In conclusion, The Coastline Runner's journey exemplifies the power of individual action in addressing plastic pollution. By implementing the three 'A's strategy, he raised awareness, showcased alternatives, and inspired others to take action. The reduction of unnecessary plastic waste at the conference serves as a reminder that small steps can create a wave of positive change. Let this story inspire us all to question, embrace alternatives, and take action in our own lives, contributing to a less wasteful and harmful future.

Luke Douglas-Home (The Coastline Runner) with speaker Mathias Kirstein (RITTEC)

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